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Thursday, December 03, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-3-2020

New York Herald, December 3, 1920:

[Jim] Thorpe and his Canton Bulldogs are here for their game at the Polo Grounds to-morrow. The noted Indian played the outfield in the International League last season. The writer asked him yesterday how much he hit. “About .367,” was the answer.

“Why didn’t you hit that way in the big league?”
“I hit over .300 in the big league the last year I was in it,” Thorpe replied, “and rapped right handers and left handers both. I can hit ‘em all.”
“Why didn’t they keep you in the big leagues, then?”
“Can’t prove it by me. You’ll have to ask them that.”

Thorpe hit .360 as an everyday outfielder for Akron in 1920, a year after hitting .327 for the Giants and Braves. He hit .358 for Toledo in 1921.

I’m not saying Thorpe could have been a star big leaguer, but it sure seems like he was a better player than a lot of people thought. Certainly a better player than a lot of guys who were given more than 698 MLB at-bats.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 03, 2020 at 11:24 AM | 14 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 03, 2020 at 11:26 AM (#5992244)
The good news is that today's Birthday Team has a Chico and doesn't have any awful players.
The bad news is today's Birthday Team isn't very good.

C: Clay Dalrymple (16.8 WAR)
1B: Joe Collins (12.0 WAR)
2B: Chico Salmon (1.0 WAR)
3B: Wayne Garrett (16.8 WAR)
SS: Steve Huntz (0.8 WAR)
LF: Darryl Hamilton (16.7 WAR)
CF: Joe Birmingham (3.2 WAR)
RF: Harry Simpson (4.6 WAR)

SP: Paul Byrd (16.2 WAR)
SP: Gene Nelson (7.3 WAR)
SP: Louis Drucke (4.9 WAR)
SP: Charlie Wagner (3.4 WAR)
SP: Butch Wensloff (3.1 WAR)
RP: Manny Corpas (4.4 WAR)

Umpire: Billy McLean
Spare P/OF/1B: Cozy Dolan (4.8 WAR; 3.3 WAR as position player, 1.5 WAR as pitcher)
Designated Aussie: Chris Snelling (0.5 WAR)
Fun Names: Hooks Iott, Lafayette Currence, Tobi Stoner
   2. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: December 03, 2020 at 12:33 PM (#5992257)
There was no New York team in the APFA in 1920; the Bulldogs played the Buffalo All-Americans, losing 7-3, in front of 12,000 at the Polo Grounds. (The very next day, the Bulldogs traveled to New Haven and played to a scoreless tie with the Washington Glee Club, of all teams.)
   3. Rally Posted: December 03, 2020 at 01:06 PM (#5992261)
Thorpe hit .327 in 1919, but only .252 career (.286 OBP, .362 SLG). Considering the time, that's not terrible, 99 OPS+.

It is a little strange to see he got more chances to play after he hit .237, but did not after hitting .327.
   4. Ron J Posted: December 03, 2020 at 01:10 PM (#5992262)
#3 I believe he had a reputation of being ... not difficult, but inclined to coast on sheer athletic talent. Plus he was increasingly involved in football and I'm pretty sure was being paid as a draw.
   5. crict Posted: December 03, 2020 at 03:19 PM (#5992299)
The Tip O'Neill award, given to the top Canadian player, was given to Jamie Romack. He had a good year in Korea, but surprising given that there are many good Canadians in MLB. Daniel Brabant won in the early 1990s after leading the country to gold at world Junior championships, but otherwise it's all major leaguers.
   6. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 03, 2020 at 03:30 PM (#5992300)
I believe he had a reputation of being ... not difficult, but inclined to coast on sheer athletic talent.
I grew up in Canton, where Thorpe is a Big Deal™, and this absolutely squares with everything I've ever heard or read about him. He was a bright guy with otherworldly athletic ability and succeeded at nearly everything he ever did. If you spend your life succeeding without having to try very hard, it has to be difficult to suck it up and fight through adversity when it finally arrives.
   7. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 03, 2020 at 03:37 PM (#5992303)
The Tip O'Neill award, given to the top Canadian player, was given to Jamie Romack. He had a good year in Korea, but surprising given that there are many good Canadians in MLB.
I like Romak a lot and would have liked to see him get a real crack at the big leagues. He seems like a good choice here - none of the star Canadians in MLB had big years in 2020. Paxton, Votto, and Little Vladdy were all kind of meh and Soroka blew out his achilles.

   8. AndrewJ Posted: December 03, 2020 at 05:02 PM (#5992319)
"Broadway" Charlie Wagner attended a lot of Philadelphia and Philly-adjacent SABR regionals in his final years (he was from Reading). Never at a loss for anecdotes.
   9. caspian88 Posted: December 03, 2020 at 11:33 PM (#5992368)
I'm having an argument in a trivia game as to whether Hank Greenberg was the first player to be paid $100,000 in a season in 1947, or whether it was Joe DiMaggio in 1949. I can't find any contemporary references to Greenberg earning $100,000 and Baseball Reference claims he made $85,000 in 1947, but there are dozens of unsourced claims that he made $100,000 that season, but I don't know what the truth is.
   10. vortex of dissipation Posted: December 04, 2020 at 12:26 AM (#5992372)
I'm having an argument in a trivia game as to whether Hank Greenberg was the first player to be paid $100,000 in a season in 1947, or whether it was Joe DiMaggio in 1949. I can't find any contemporary references to Greenberg earning $100,000 and Baseball Reference claims he made $85,000 in 1947, but there are dozens of unsourced claims that he made $100,000 that season, but I don't know what the truth is.


For what it's worth, Greenberg in his autobiography, which came out in 1989, after he had passed away, says that he got $100.000.

"I said, "What am I going to get paid?"

[Pirates owner John Galbreath] said, "You'll get paid whatever you want."

I said I wanted $100,000, and he said "You got it".


He then explains (I'm not good with money matters, so I don't really understand what he's talking about) how he and Galbreath worked out a deal that involved Greenberg buying stock in the club, which Galbreath would buy back at the end of the year, so that Greenberg would pay a capital gains tax on $60,000 of the sum, and income tax on $40,000 of it.
   11. JJ1986 Posted: December 04, 2020 at 01:33 PM (#5992461)
Sam Miller is out at ESPN (pandemic layoffs).
   12. Rally Posted: December 05, 2020 at 04:59 PM (#5992638)
Looking through Retrosheet I came across a weird play and felt the need to write something about it. Triples to first base are extremely rare, but not unprecedented. I guess the first baseman gets a glove on it, the ball rolls away (helps to be somewhere with a lot of foul territory), batter gets to 3rd and they score it a hit.

Mickey Hatcher triples to 3rd on 8-4-82 against the Angels. Four days later he did it again against the A's (in Minnesota, so not taking advantage of the famous Oakland foul territory). Those were his only 2 triples of the 1982 season.
   13. SoSH U at work Posted: December 05, 2020 at 05:37 PM (#5992656)
Former Angels scout David Lander (aka Squiggy) passed away. Reading his obit, it seems he wrote reviews of the handicap accessibility of ballparks, which is pretty cool.
   14. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 05, 2020 at 05:38 PM (#5992657)
Mickey Hatcher triples to 3rd on 8-4-82 against the Angels. Four days later he did it again

Do you mean he tripled to 1B?

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